They include Charlotte, aged 17 from Essex, Damien, a London based pianist/musician/songwriter and performer, the five piece Emperors of Soul. Identical twin sisters, Francine and Nicola from South Yorkshire, Jade, a soul-singer from London and, currently playing Prince Charming in panto, Mark, 23, from North Wales.
These acts were revealed today at the end of BBC One's Your Country Needs You which followed Andrew’s fact-finding tour around Europe.
Andrew Lloyd Webber says: “Our chosen acts face a terrific challenge if they make it to Moscow. On the one hand they have to entertain more than 20,000 people in a vast arena, on the other they have to engage with over 100 million viewers sitting at home watching in their front room.”
He also had this insight into his own challenge as the song’s composer. “I think everybody would’ve loved to have written Waterloo wouldn’t they?,” he says. “Are you Sure? by The Allisons, (1961, UK entry) and Love Is Blue (1967, Luxembourg entry by Vicky Leandros’, sung in French - L'amour Est Bleu) are also really good songs. Over the years, it’s quite surprising what has come through. But I believe the key is to get back to concentrating on song itself and not being formulaic. I think that’s the right way to approach Eurovision.”
From Saturday 10th of January, Your Country Needs You viewers get their chance to have a say in the proceedings. Over the next four live shows, hosted by Graham Norton, one act will leave the series until the winner is found who will represent the UK in Moscow in May.
In the meantime, the world famous musical maestro Webber will begin composing the song that will be performed at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.